(1938-01-11) Inspiration
Details for Inspiration
Summary: Ophelia invites Kaiden to meet her in the Trophy room, hoping to help inspire him to find his career of choice. As the topic turns to quidditch Hephaesta joins them, and after a tension-filled moment Kaiden leaves Hephaesta and Ophelia to talk through some things.
Date: January 11, 1938
Location: Trophy Room

Its been some time since Ophelia sent Snidget to see Kaiden, asking him to meet her after classes. Ophelia has been nervous all afternoon, ever since sending this one. She made it clear, in the letter, that this was about studying and about ideas for Kaiden's future. Still, as she waits in the Trophy room, where she asked him to meet her, she can't help but fidget nervously. She pulls at the hem of her skirt, continually re-adjusts her sweater, and plays with her hair. Which she curled today, though by now most of its gone to waves. For now, she stands in front of a collection of trophies and memorials related to past Triwizard Tournaments, looking thoughtfully through the glass case in between bouts of nervousness.

Kaiden is trying his very hardest to fix his hair, but uh…well, it's Kaiden's hair and as with the rest of Kaiden, it doesn't respond well to authority, so it continues being bad. He clears his throat as he rounds the corner and will stand in the doorway for a moment, just looking at Ophelia for a moment before he says, "Hey there, Summerbee." The boy takes a couple of hesitant steps forward before he finds the courage to make his way all the way over to her.

Ophelia turns with a bright smile, which falters only a little when he calls her Summerbee. "Ah- hello. Thank you… for coming. I hope I'm not interrupting any plans you had with Briar?"

Kaiden shakes his head and slides his hands into his pockets, "No, we don't have any plans right now. She's off doing prefect things. Y'know, taking care of all the little ones." He chuckles and rubs the back of his neck, "It's hard to think that I was one of those kids not too long ago. It's kinda crazy."

Ophelia manages a small, hesitant chuckle. "It is, isn't it? You've only a year and a half left." She falls silent for a beat, as she works to hide the sadness that thought brings to her face, then steps back from the trophy case, "Have… you ever been in this room before?"

Kaiden smirks, "Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting out, though. I'm ready to face the world, I think. I've taken a lot of steps this year and I think I'm to that point now, y'know?" He shrugs and looks around, "I think I may have when I was younger. You come here a lot?"

"Not very." Ophelia replies. "Sometimes it… it intimidates me. I don't always feel as confident about my future as people seem to think. But every once in a while, its nice." She glances up at him, guaging his reaction, "I mean, if all these people were able to win these awards, surely we can do something great as well?"

Kaiden pats her on the shoulder and says, "It shouldn't, Ophe. You've got a good head on your shoulders. You're blow everybody away when you graduate. They'll all be like 'Wait, that little ginge with the bare feet is making the most amazing wands that money can buy, now?'" He smiles to her and says, "Though, if I'm honest, I'm not all that concerned about greatness. I think I'll settle for just doing something that I love."

Ophelia blushes, just as quickly as she so often used to around Kaiden. And for a while, the lok in her eyes is not that unlike the one that used to be on her face when she watched him the yeard before. But she catches herself, looking hurriedly away when he starts talking about his own desires. "I think doing something you love can be the same thing." She offers softly. "But have you… decided on something? I, ah, I heard you made captain, by the way. Congratulations."

Kaiden has to look away, too, being the dumb romantic that he is. He clears his throat and looks back to her, "I'm thinking about pursuing Quidditch, actually. I mean, I'm a natural at it. It reminds me a lot of the first time I picked up a pencil and scribbled something out on paper. And I mean, gosh, I made Captain in only my first year. I haven't even played a game yet and I'm already in charge. Kinda scary, though…"

Ophelia nods, eyes still locked on one of the display cases. "I can imagine. Though, really, I've no doubt you'll be spectacular. When… when I heard it was, ah, like… well, I felt that I should have realized sooner that you would be excellent at quidditch. When is your next game?"

Ophelia nods, eyes still locked on one of the display cases. "I can imagine. Though, really, I've no doubt you'll be spectacular. When… when I heard it was, ah, like… well, I felt that I should have realized sooner that you would be excellent at quidditch. Maybe… I could come and see your next game?"

Kaiden looks at the trophy case, as to make sure that Ophelia doesn't feel entirely too awkward. Yep, they're just talkin' about trophies. Move along, folks. "I think the team likes me, though. I've been working really hard with Conall to try and get his leg back into playing shape since Claire knocked him off last year." He grumbles a bit before he smiles and gives her a nod, "Well, they're mandatory, so I'd hope so." Hrins cheekily and continues, "We're playing against you guys, though, so you might not want to cheer me on too much."

"That's really good." Ophelia says. The relief is cler in her voice, as though somehow she had been worried that the team might not have liked him. "I heard that the Slytherin team has all- y-you are?" Oh. Oh that isn't so good. "I see. Well, I… " She glances up, only briefly, before looking back at the case and bravely joking, "Then I suppose I'll just have to leave my Hufflepuff scarf at home."

Kaiden smirks and says, "Well, you could always just wear a Hufflepuff t-shirt beneath your robes. Nobody would ever know." He flashes her a playful wink and says, "I'm not all into the competetive nature of the whole thing, though. I just love the game."

Blush renewed, Ophelia gives a short giggle. "Yes, maybe. Phae, she's not either. Not… not with quidditch, anyway. Its like… an experiment, with her. Cameron's trying to get her goggles approved for the whole team. Maybe… maybe when you join a professional team later, everyone will be wearing them."

Kaiden raises his eyebrows, "Oh, Phae's made some goggles for Quidditch? That's sounds pretty cool. Whar do they do?" He looks over to her, obviously very interested in the prospect of Quidditch-y thing.

As usual, Hephaesta's approach is heard before she is seen. *Click-whirr, click-whirr.* In the silence of the halls and the trophy room, there is no mistaking it. "Ophelia? Peeves said you were in here, waiting f-…" Phae stops dead in the doorway, eyes landing on Kaiden, the colour draining from her face.

"Well, its the ones she always wears, you know?" Once more, Ophelia risks a look up from the trophy case. "I'm not entirely sure what all they do, but it seems she's worked out some setting that- " Turning at the sound of her name, she blinks, and steps back to widen the distance between herself and Kaiden. "Phae. Are, um, we, ah… hi."

Kaiden nods and says, "Yeah. I think they're charmed variable lenses with a…" He looks over to Ophelia, initially thinking the new voice is coming from her, but then turns around to investigate. He spots Hephaesta and he raises his eyebrows, offering her a wave, "Hey there, Phae."

Hephaesta bites her lip, noting Ophelia's sudden distancing. She swallows, but still her voice cracks. "Wh-what's going on?" She's probably wishing she was wearing her goggles right now, to hide her eyes as they dart nervously between the pair.

Kaiden's casual tone helps Ophelia to calm down, and she takes a deep breath before replying, more coherently, "I wanted to congratulate Kaiden, I'd heard he made quidditch captain. I was just telling him about your goggles, and… and about how Cameron wants to get them for the team… " She tries to keep her voice light, but worry tightens it as she goes on, and starts fidgeting with the hem of her sweater.

Kaiden slides his hands back into his pockets, still keeping his casual aire about him. "Yeah, just talking about Quidditch. She asked me where I thought I was gonna end up after school. I said I was thinking about playing professionally. What do you think, Phae?"

Hephaesta closes her eyes for a moment…and starts talking to herself. "It's just Peeves making trouble," she murmurs. "It's just Peeves making trouble." She repeats the mantra, taking a deep breath and opening her eyes. "I think…that would be wonderful. You're very athletic." Her voice is a little strained, and she's still lingering stiffly by the door.

Ophelia relaxes, if only a little. She doesn't move yet, though, and soon enough her fidgeting switches to her arms crossing over her chest protectively. "Y-yes, I thought so, too. I was thinking that if they get approved, maybe you'll end up making them for the professional teams someday."

Kaiden nods to Phae, "I think I'd love it. Though, I'm sure I should reserve judgement until I actually play a game." He chuckles a bit nervously. "So…" He clears his throat and asks, "…how have you been, Hephaesta? I have seen you around all that much."

Their nervousness only fuels Phae's suspicions, even as she silently tries to convince herself there is nothing to be suspicious of. "I'm…fine. I, um…right. My goggles…maybe I'll make a version of them for Quidditch. Mine are…special."

Ophelia nods hurriedly. "Yes, of course. I'm sorry, I only remember that Cameron wanted you to make some for the Ravenclaw team." She glances around, trying to think of something, anything to say that won't make things /more/ awkward, "Um… "

Kaiden just kind of looks between the two of them and says, "I think that I should go." He quirks his lip and scratches at his jaw, looking for the easiest way to get out, should Hephaesta go nerd-rage and draw down on him.

Hephaesta suddenly frowns, "Wait." For what, she doesn't know. She nibbles at her lip, feeling torn. Sure, she'd love to be alone with Ophelia. But she's also been trying to be a better cousin to Kaiden. But they were making out! No…no, they probably weren't. Were they? Dammit, Peeves!

Ophelia starts to say something, as Kaiden leaves. But she stops when Hephaesta speaks up, leaning back, and waiting quietly to hear what will be said. She's starting to think, all in all, that silence is a good idea right now.

Kaiden raises his eyebrows to Hephaesta and says, "For what?" He stops in his tracks, just standing there and looking over to Phae as he waits for her to say something, occassionally looking back to Ophelia.

He might as well have asked Phae to reveal her darkest secret, with the way she tightens up. "I…don't know." She lowers her gaze to the floor, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment at the awkwardness of it all.

"What? Ophelia blinks, glancing confusedly from Kaiden to Hephaesta. Ok, maybe silence /isn't/ the best plan. But what to say? "Uhm. Did… did you hear? I think Miss Strudwick might be coming back for more OWL sessions. M-maybe she'll help people with their NEWTs and all, too… " Yep. Changing the subject. Awkwardly. Or at least trying to.

Yeah…….this is getting a little too awkward for good ol' happy-go-lucky Kaiden Sykes. He raises a brow to Hephaesta and says, "Well…I'm just gonna head out, then. You gals have a good one." And with that, he hurriedly makes his way out of the trophy room, ignoring Ophelia's statement entirely.

Hephaesta watches Kaiden go with an unreadable, but obviously strained expression. But this time she doesn't try to stop him. When he has left, her eyes lift to Ophelia. Her fingers lace and unlace, fiddling together nervously. "Ophie…is…is there anything you want to tell me?"

Ok. That could have gone… so much worse. Ophelia sighs, and very slowly shakes her head at Hephaesta, givng Kaiden only a fleeting glance as he takes his leave. "Not… not really. I mean, I did want to congratulate him. And just… " She looks around at the trophies, and sighs again, "Just to talk to him. We were talking, the other day, about studying together again… "

Hephaesta stiffens, hands pressed firmly to her sides. She still hasn't moved from her position near the door, like her shoes are glued in place. "Why in here? All…alone?"

"Alone?" That catches Ophelia by surprise. Frowning, she looks around, "Oh. I didn't think… no, its because of the trophies." She risks a look at Hephaesta, worry even more clear on her face as she begins to realize just how bad it all must have looked, "I know what people say about him. And that he believed it all himself, for awhile. And even if… even if we're not… together, I still think he deserves to be inspired."

Hephaesta's eyes widen. "How are you inspiring him?" she asks in a sudden panic. Finally she moves, just a step closer to Ophelia, suddenly hating the distance between them.

The trophies." Ophelia repeats. She remains in place, letting Hephaesta approach, and pulls an arm from her waist to gesture at the nearest case. "I… I find them inspiring, sometimes. And I know he's had some trouble deciding what he wants to do. I thought maybe they'd help."

Hephaesta looks to the trophy case, and suddenly the tension drains out of her, and her cheeks burn red. "The Trophy Room…oh, Merlin…how could I be so stupid? Ophie, I'm sorry."

Ophelia winces, and shakes her head. "No, no its ok. I… I probably should have said something before I came. I know… I know it makes you uncomfortable. I just… didn't think it all through."

Hephaesta hurries to Ophelia to wrap her arms around her. "I hate feeling like that. I shouldn't…and he's my cousin and I'm trying to make things better with him. I'm an idiot."

Ophelia returns the hug, at first without comment. She just holds Hephaesta, and leans her face against the other girl's shoulder, squeezing her eyes tightly shut. Then, slowly, she starts to shake her head. "No. Its alright. But Phae, I… I've been thinking about something."

Cue the panic. Phae's lips part as her breath turns shallow. "Wh-…what?" It's something horrible, she's sure of it. She's going to lose Ophelia. Her arms tighten unconsciously around the other girl.

Ophelia winces. But she bears with it, and doesn't try to pull away. This way, she doesn't have to look in Hephaesta's eyes and /see/ her panic. "I… I don't know if its possible. But I… I want to try to be friends with him."

Hephaesta breathes a little easier. That wasn't nearly as bad as she imagined. "You mean…just friends, right? Not…not going back to him?"

"He's with Briar, Phae." Ophelia explains. "He already left me, remember? No, I just… I miss him. Talking to him, things like that. He… he made things like talking seem so easy, even with people he was uncomfortable around."

Hephaesta squeezes her tightly, clinging. "I know. I never wanted you to feel like you couldn't be friends with him. You even said before that you wanted to help him study. I want to be his friend too. I just…could you maybe not be off and alone with him somewhere? I know it's stupid…I just feel…afraid, sometimes."

"I'm sorry." Ophelia nods against Hephaesta's shoulder. "I tried to study with him and Briar. But I felt… useless, so I stopped going. I'll try to remember that." She squeezes Hephaesta back, and starts to truly relax, herself. "I… I send him a Christmas present."

Hephaesta pulls back slowly, so she can finally look Ophelia in the eyes. "That's alright. That's…that's good. I did too. Well…my family did. I really should have gotten him something personal." She tilts her head curiously. "What did you get him?"

Ophelia looks up slowly, and though her expression is cautious most of the strain has left her features. "Well a journal like what I gave most everyone else except Ajax, except without lines so he could draw in it, and one of the wand pens." Nearly all of her friends, save for special people who got something else, were given a small wooden pen caved in the likeness of their wands.

Hephaesta's own gift from Ophelia hangs around her neck even now — a treasure she almost never takes off now. She nods, perhaps a touch relieved that the gift wasn't something as extraordinary as she feels her own wand-heart pendant is. "Speaking of Christmas presents…I was looking for you to tell you I fixed that hitch in your keepsake cabinet's door. Peeves overheard me asking about you, and told me to find you here. I should have known he was just trying to stir up trouble."

Ophelia frowns at the door, "One of these days… I intend to find out why he is so unhappy." She mutters. As though it were a threat. "And fix it." She shakes her head, then blinks, "Oh, I'm sorry I… I meant to ask. Earlier."

Hephaesta shrugs, "It's okay. This was all…um…awkward." She sighs, "I'm going to have to apologize to Kaiden again, aren't I?"

"Hmm. I'm not sure." Ophelia tries to think about it, and sighs as well, "I mean… if… if I had been you I think… I would have been worried, too. But… if you /do/ want to be friends with him, you should maybe just… talk to him. Maybe… about something… other than, um, me?" Blushing now, she winces. That didn't sound arrogant at all, no siree.

Hephaesta nods slowly, "Right…I guess you're really all we've talked much about. But…what else do I talk to him about? We really don't have much in common."

Still grimacing, Ophelia slowly shakes her head and shrugs. "Um. Quidditch? Like, the goggles and such? Or, um, how snobby Ria is? Where you think the extra food goes after a meal?"

Hephaesta frowns, her lips forming a little pout. "Ria's not snobby! People just don't understand the kind of pressure she's under."

Ophelia's eyebrows rise in both surprise and disbelief. "Well, then. You can talk about how, um, unfair everyone is to her? I think… I think the first time I talked to Kaiden, ever, he asked me to be nice to her."

Hephaesta nods firmly, "You should. She's not like everyone says she is. She can be really great. She even…um…" She goes a little tongue-tied for a moment, then rapidly tries to change the subject. "So, Quidditch. I suppose we do have that in common now. Though I can't talk to him about strategy. Cameron would have my head."

"I'm not mean to her. But I'm not going to put up with her treating my friends like dirt, either." Ophelia frowns. The subject-change is accepted gladly, however. One awkward conversation is enough for one day. "Quidditch. No, not strategy. About… what he can do if he wants to play professionally. You… you don't, right?"

Hephaesta shakes her head. "No. I doubt I could get onto a professional team, anyhow, with my lame leg." She shrugs.

"Oh, I don't know about that." Ophelia smiles, "You're brilliant enough to become a better player than the most athletic people in the world, I'm sure. Its only a matter of what you want for yourself."

Hephaesta smiles through a blush, dipping her face abashedly. "Well…what I want is to make things. Maybe even brooms, if everything works out. But…I rather like the idea of having my own workshop someday."

"And you shall." Ophelia reaches down for one of Hephaesta's hands and pulls her up to one of the trophy cases. "And there will be a case inside like this one, filled with all the awards you'll get for your work."

Hephaesta gazes up at the magnificent trophies, lips parting as she imagines instead shelves of plaques, patents, and certificates of special achievement. She tilts her head to lean on Ophelia's shoulder. "You have this amazing ability to inspire people. You know that?"

Blushing suddenly, Ophelia looks to the floor. "Huh, me? No, no its just… um. I just… I like… to share things. Things that make me happy."

Hephaesta smiles adoringly, tilting her head to kiss Ophelia's cheek. "But you do, and it's wonderful. Oh!" She perks up suddenly. "Did you hear about the new wandmaker's shop in Hogsmeade?"

Ophelia suddenly grows tense, and gets that look in her eye that's usually only reserved for those like Ollivander and his apprentice. "Mr. Hawthorne. Mum and dad already wrote me. He… I need to talk to him. I had an idea, and.. and what he's doing, I think… he can tell me if it will work."

Hephaesta nods excitedly. "Next weekend is a Hogsmeade Weekend. You can talk to him then! So what's your idea?"

Ophelia nods. "I.. well there's two. For… practice wands, of a sort. One for pieces that look and feel like wands, but are charmed to help a person practice the proper motions for certain spells. To teach… muscle memory? I think that's what they call it."

"Oh, that's brilliant. Then maybe underage witches and wizards could practice at home without breaking the law!" Hephaesta beams happily at her girlfriends stroke of genius. "What's the other idea?"

Blush darkening, Ophelia smiles a little. "Thank you. It will be difficult to learn the proper charms, though. The other… is more risky. In that… it might not be allowed. But I thought…. a wand made for a single spell. One that you could have in /addition/ to your usual one, but that would always perform the specific task it was made for. Like… housecleaning or something, I'm not sure yet."

Hephaesta lifts her brow. "Is that even possible? Oh, I guess that's what you want to ask Mr. Hawthorne. I'll be he'll be very impressed with your ingenuity, in any event."

"I don't know." Ophelia shakes her head, "Its just something I've pondered. It would be more than difficult, to say the least. But the enhancements he's doing made me think its worth a try. At least, maybe he'll be able to suggest something like it that /will/ work."

Hephaesta hugs Ophelia tight. "This is exciting!" She sighs contentedly, again nuzzling up to her shoulder. "Walk with me back to the tower?" She's been waiting on Ophelia a lot lately to climb the stairs. She never complains, but it's becoming more obvious that the climb is causing her more pain these days.

Ophelia hugs Hephaesta tightly, and nods. "Of course. Its cold up here, anyway." Hooking an arm around the other girl's waist, she starts for the door, pacing her movements as she's gotten used to doing, to make the walk as easy as she can for Hephaesta.

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